Japan vs Australia A – review & highlights

Japan vs Australia A – review & highlights

Having finally seen the game from yesterday, here are a few quick thoughts on the Aussie A vs Japan match. It was a scrappy, stop start game with a lot of kicking from the home side especially. As such a good advert for the ELVs.

Australia A looked to play fast, almost exclusively through the 10/12 channel, with inside balls galore. This pretty much worked purely because the Cherry Blossoms seemed to have no defensive pattern in this part of the field. The lack of dominance of the Aussie pack around the rucks and instability of the turnstile scrum were a bit of a worry though, and something to keep an eye on against tougher oppo.

In the end though this is a showcase for Wallaby squad possibles and what did we see?

Lucas’ “interesting” selection at 10 didn’t really get enough time either way due to injury, but bar a couple of kicks towards the end, Norton-Knight had a blinder. He was involved in every classy move and even scored his own charge down from 40m out. He was a cut above.

The Tahu experiment at 12 on the other hand did bear fruit. With a good burst of pace (the first time I’ve seen him flat out) and showing that his slick hands in his cameos for the Tahs weren’t mirages, he starts to create an interesting option. Looked a lot less like a clueless leaguie as well.

Peter Kimlin the young ACT lock had a dream debut in senior colours, scoring two tries, having one disallowed and doing all the hard work to set up his parter Van Humphries. Kimlin had a knack for scoring off the bench for the Brumbies this season, it looks like Mumm has a rival or partner for the future Wallaby spots.

Fainifo showed a good pair of heals a few times, Gerrard was predictably solid and Morgs, almost now indistinguishable at a distance from Pek Cowan, always makes the ball work for him. That was it otherwise. The back row was a disappointment. More control is needed to fend off the more experienced opponents to come.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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